President Marcos’s inaugural speech: Key takeaways

·Contributor
·5 min read
Ferdinand
Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, delivers a speech after taking oath as the 17th President of the Philippines, during the inauguration ceremony at the National Museum in Manila, Philippines, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

At 12 o’clock Thursday (June 30), Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr., becomes the 17th President of the Republic of the Philippines. He will inherit a country seemingly teetering on the brink of crisis with the ballooning debt, depleting currency, high inflation, and rising cost of fuel.

Here are some key takeaways from the newly-sworn-in president’s inaugural speech.

On unity, electoral mandate

“When my call for unity started to resonate with you, it did so because it echoed your yearning, mirrored your sentiments, and expressed your hopes for family, for country and for a better future. That is why it reverberated and amplified as it did, to deliver the biggest electoral mandate in the history of Philippine democracy.”

“I believe that if we focus on the work at hand, and the work that will come to hand, we will go very far under my watch. You believe that too. And I listened to your voices who are calling for unity, unity and unity.”

On his dream for the nation

“A future of sufficiency, even plenty of readily available ways and means to get done what needs doing - by you, by me. We do not look back, but ahead. Up the road that we must take to a place better than the one we lost in the pandemic.”

“Indeed, ours was the fastest growing economy in the ASEAN byways now outdated. We shall be again, by radical change in the way the world must now work to recover what we lost in that fire, and move on from there.”

On the war in Ukraine and diplomacy

“We face prospects of the war abroad of which we are totally blameless. We seek friendship with all. But countries like ours will bear the brunt of it. And if the great powers draw the wrong lessons from the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, the same dark prospect of conflict will spread to our part of the world.”

On coming together to solve the country’s problems

“We are here to repair a house divided, to make it whole and to stand strong again in the bayanihan way, expressive of our nature as Filipinos. We shall seek, not scorn dialogue, listen respectfully to contrary views, be open to suggestions coming from hard thinking and unsparing judgment but always from us, Filipinos.”

“[L]et us all be part of the solution that we choose. In that lies the power to get it done, always be open to differing views but ever united in our chosen goal. Never hesitating to change it should it prove one thing.”

On food security

“The role of agriculture cries for urgent attention that its neglect and misdirection now demands. Food self-sufficiency is the key promise of every administration. None but one delivered.”

“ Food is not just a trade commodity. Without it, people weaken and die, societies come apart. It is more than a livelihood, it is an existential imperative, and a moral one. An agriculture damage diminished by unfair competition will have a harder time or will have no prospects at all of recovering. Food sufficiency must get the preferential treatment.”

On the country’s educational system

“What we teach in our schools, the materials used, must be retaught. I am not talking about history, I am talking about the basics, the sciences, sharpening theoretical aptitude and imparting vocational skills such as in the German example. Alongside, the national language, with equal emphasis and facility in a global language, which we had and lost.”

“Once, we had an education system that prepared coming generations for more and better jobs. There is hope for a comeback. Vice President and soon Secretary of Education Sara Duterte-Carpio will fit that mission to a tee.”

On the country’s public health infrastructure

“We won’t be caught unprepared, underequipped, and understaffed to fight the next pandemic.”

“Our nurses are the best in the world. They acquitted themselves with the highest distinction abroad, having suffered even the highest casualties. With the same exemplary dedication at home, they just got by. They are out there because we cannot pay them for the same risk and workload that we have back here. There will be changes starting tomorrow.”

On the country’s roads and public infrastructure

“Much has been built and so well that the economic dogma of dispersing industry to develop the least likely places has been upturned. Development was brought to them. Investors are now setting up industries along the promising routes built. And yet, the potential of this country is not exhausted.”

“[W]e will continue to build, I will complete on schedule the projects that have been started. I am not interested in taking credit. I want to build on the success that’s already happening. We will be presenting the public with a comprehensive infrastructure plan, six years could be just about enough time. No part of our country will be neglected. Progress will be made wherever there are Filipinos so, no investment is wasted.”

On climate change

“The rich world talks a great deal but does a lot less about it than those with much less but who suffer more death and destruction from climate change and lack of adaptation. We will look to our partners and friends to help the Philippines who despite having a very small carbon footprint is at the highest risk.”

“We too have our part to play. We are the third biggest plastics polluter in the world, but we won’t shirk from that responsibility. We will clean up.”

On his faith in the Filipino people

“You have other responsibilities to carry but I will not spare myself from shedding the last bead of sweat or giving the last ounce of courage and sacrifice. And if you ask me why I am so confident of the future, I will answer you simply that I have 110 million reasons to start with. Such is my faith in the Filipino.”

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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